SWEDEN: Saab staring down frozen account barrel
Saab's current bank account could be frozen tomorrow (17 August) or this week as Sweden's debt enforcement agency seeks to recover outstanding money.
The dramatic development initially involves a small sum of SEK4m (US$625,000) owed to three Kongsberg Automotive divisions and consultants Infotiv, but could be ratcheted up during the next few weeks to reach SEK42m.
Saab will have until the deadline tomorrow to meet its obligations but if not, the Kronofogden debt agency will freeze Saab's current account. The Swedish automaker has already had two weeks to settle its debts.
"In the first step we will look at what they have in the bank - in Sweden we are allowed to take that money immediately," a Kronofogden enforcement officer in Gothenburg told just-auto. "After that we can give them some time before we take further steps - Kongsberg are the first in line to get the money.
"If I don't find enough money for the suppliers' demands, then I write a paper that we could not find enough money and the suppliers go to the Court. Then it will be a very fast process in Court to bankruptcy - it won't take a lot of time - it is the last chance for Saab."
Should Saab not be able to pay the SEK4m, the amount will rise to around SEK10m extra, with the total increasing to SEK42m in around three weeks.
The automaker has been mired in negotiations with its myriad suppliers in order to find a way through its debt problems, but today's news takes the process on a further step.
"It is hard to tell [with] Saab...they have been successful so far to find [money], but I know they are speaking with a bigger investor to solve the whole problem," said the enforcement officer.
Saab was not immediately available for comment.